veggie rules

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Should There Be a Law To Make Growers Use Sprays?

I came across this today which really saddened me: French Organic Farmer Refuses to Spray

Basically it said that an organic and biodynamic winemaker, Emmanuel Giboulot, had appeared before a judge for not treating his vineyard with a chemical spray as a preventive measure against a bacterial vine disease.  He could face up to 6 months in jail for this.  He has already been fined 1,000EU for putting his neighbors' vineyards at risk.
He argues that the pesticide is harmful to beneficial insects and animals, and may not even be effective at preventing the vine disease  He says “I don’t want to undo decades of work applying a treatment where the effects on the health of the vines, and the public, are as yet unproved."

Now I'm not disputing the fact that this disease is devastating to the vineyards in France (or anywhere else for that matter), but, as of date, this grower has not had the disease, in fact his vines are perfectly healthy and, as he does his own preventative measures, I doubt if he'll ever have the disease ..... (his grapes, not him) .

My brain doesn't get the logic of France's law to use pesticides to control this disease when it's obvious that it doesn't work anyway.  

Which leads me to believe that, once again, big business has used (abused), its power to get more people to buy its product in order to gain more profit.

The court will be making its final verdict on April 7th - that's when we'll see what happens to Emmanuel Giboulot.

I'll, hopefully, get the result and update this post.  Let's hope Emmanuel is strong enough to withstand the pressure.

Have Great Food

UPDATE 8 April 2014:  The final verdict has now been announced.  Emmanuel Giboulot has been ordered to pay pay a €500 (a fine of €1,000, with €500 suspended.) - he is going to appeal.  More Info

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

GUEST BLOG: Being a Vegan is like being.....

Thanks to Ashleigh for writing this wonderful insight:

Being a Vegan is like being the only single person
in a world of couples

I'm what I consider to be a baby vegan.
In the past six months I have inducted myself into the wonderful and meaningful world of veganism, volunteer work and animal advocacy.
In this brave new world of mine, I've been thinking a lot about how in six months my life has changed so dramatically. 

It all started with a music video set in a slaughter house. 
It was like tunnel vision. In that one moment I felt this gut wrenching, guilt ridden lightening course through my veins.
I thought about the fear and the trauma those cows were experiencing before enduring a violent death.
I thought about exactly how terrified these animals were and how trivial the cause. These animals are petrified and meet such violent ends all so a human can sit around eating steak sandwiches.
All of the pain, all of the suffering and all of the violence for a sandwich. 

Not to trivialise this violence, but I can't help but compare that epiphanic moment to the same moment one gets when they decide to get out of a relationship.
In more ways than I initially realised, becoming a vegan is just like breaking up with your childhood sweetheart and all of a sudden being the only single person you know.
Instead of “oh, I'm so sorry to hear about you and Bob”, you get “oh, I'm sorry, I guess you can't eat this cheesecake can you?”
And instead of “why don't you get a man?”, you get “why don't you have a burger?”
You get looks laden with pity and sympathy when you turn down the potato salad because of the mayonnaise.
You get told to stop being so silly when you refuse a green salad with feta, much in the same way you'd be scolded for turning down a blind date with your best friend's cousin's friend who's a dentist and a really nice guy.
And then you get the grilling.
Only instead of “why don't you let me set you up with...?”, or “why don't you try online dating?”, you get "what do you mean you don't eat meat?”, “what about the food chain?”, “how do you get any protein/calcium/iron?” and, my personal favourite; how do you live without BACON?”
(My favourite answer to that by the way, is something I read on tumblr: Relax, it's a strip of pig flesh, not a tank of oxygen.)
When you go out to eat, or eat anything you haven't made yourself, it's like finding out from friends of friends that the new guy you just started seeing is shagging someone else.
You can't help but ask a million questions and have the ingredients whirling around in your head like a tid bit of hot gossip.
Instead of having a rule about not dating the same man that your friend has, you have a new rule about not using the same spoon your friend just used to dish the chicken to dish the vegan salad.
You sit there, on the outer, and think about the lovely things that they get that you don't – the physical stuff mostly.
The sweet, the comforting and the tasty.
The cheesecake, mayonnaise, egg pasta, chocolate. All these indulgences, all these comforts that these couples take for granted you don't get anymore.
But just like being a single person in a world full of committed couples stuck in an ingrained rut, there's a bright, shiny world full of freedom and amazing foods and amazing flavours.
A place where there are 1001 uses for chickpeas and zucchinis and hummus comes in 101 different flavours.

It's an awakening when you discover that Whittaker's dark chocolate is vegan friendly and instant coffee is amazing with vanilla flavoured soy milk.
You get to date vegetables - all kinds of vegetables in all kinds of ways!
It's like a series of amazing dates with a series of attractive men.  Not to mention the benefits couples don't get - your mood improves, your skin looks great and goodbye relationship weight (you don't even have to try with this one - it just happens).
You spend less on food and thus have more money to go into your non-leather shoe fund!  You have this empowering new sense of independence and price in what you're doing.

Finding out just how the meat goes from farm to plate is like finding out your boyfriend slept with one of your friends - there's no coming back from it.
Once the initial shock wears off, and you have time to adjust and process and discover what else is out there, there's this moment where everything feels right; it's serendipitous, it's magic, and it's love.  That special kind of love that comes from living a kind and beautiful and ethical life that no one else can give you, not even your childhood sweetheart.

Ashleigh Hoare

P.S. For those of you who are brave enough, below is the music video that started it all (yes, music video - how sensitive am I)

Thursday, February 6, 2014

What's The Difference Between Dolphins and Bobby Calves?

Recently there was a post going round FaceBook about the killing of the dolphins in the Taiji cove.  This is a barbaric practice and certainly one that the world should be outraged about and help bring an end to it.

However, I can't help thinking of the animals who every day are treated barbarically for a much longer period of time and are then slaughtered just like the dolphins.
I'm talking about animals raised for food for humans.

Pigs, Chickens, Beef, Dairy.  These farmed animals have no chance what-so-ever.  Now I'm not saying that the Dolphins in Taiji cove have any chance either, they don't - what I am trying to say is that there are an awful lot of people who are totally disgusted, outraged and saddened by what happens to beautiful dolphins, yet these same people will sit down to a steak or bacon and eggs or cheese on toast and think nothing of the animal that has suffered and died for that piece of food.

Just recently the N.Z. Dairy industry came under fire for a video that surfaced of calves being bashed to death on one of their farms in Chile .... what else came out was that, in N.Z., it is acceptable to kill calves, as young as 4 days old, with blunt instruments.  According to the N.Z. Federated Farmers, this practice should only be done in extreme emergency to put a calf out of misery e.g. broken leg or in pain ..... which begs the question - how does the calf get the broken leg or is in pain in the first place if not being mis-treated?  To make matters worse for the dairy industry, other farmers acknowledged that this practice was really not so uncommon as a way of getting rid of unwanted male calves who have no value at all to the dairy farmer.  source

Don't get me started on the sick, abusive treatment these bobby calves endure in their extremely short lives.  For more information on the perils of being a bobby calf: source

Wake up people, you can make a difference, you can help stop the suffering …. maybe not for the dolphins, but certainly for the animals in your own back yard.  Make a start by cutting out meat and reducing your dairy a couple of days a week, it's actually a lot easier than you think.

Have Happy Animal Friends

veggie rules